- IFTDA issued a notice to Sajid Khan in October this year
- Sajid Khan has been accused of sexual harassment by two actresses
- Sajid Khan stepped down as the director of Housefull 4 in October
Filmmaker Sajid Khan, who was implicated in sexual harassment allegations in three separate #MeToo accounts by actresses Saloni Chopra and Rachel White and journalist Karishma Upadhyay, has been suspended by the Indian Film & Television Directors' Association for a year, reports news agency ANI. The film body issued a notice to the director in October this year and sent him a letter, which demanded an explanation for his alleged offensive behaviour. In November, IFTDA announced that they will take a decision regarding the sexual harassment charges made against Sajid Khan within a week. In a previous interview, IFTDA President Ashoke Pandit, told PTI: "As far as Sajid's case is concerned, we have heard both the parties, Sajid and the girls. ICC will sit in a week's time and take a call on the judgement and the federation will be there, along with the lawyers."
In the wake of the allegations made against him, Sajid Khan stepped down as the director of Housefull 4 in October and he was replaced by Farhad Samji. The 48-year-old filmmaker, citing his decision to step down as a "moral responsibility," released a statement on Twitter. He wrote: "In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer and the stars of my film Housefull 4, I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth."
Read Sajid Khan's full statement below.
Filmmaker Sajid Khan was outed as an alleged sexual predator by three women, including actresses Saloni Chopra and Rachel White and journalist Karishma Upadhyay. Ms Chopra, who once worked with the director, accused him of harassing her mentally, emotionally and sexually. In her account, Rachel White, alleged that the director asked her to "seduce him in 5 minutes" for a role, while Karishma Upadhyay claimed that Sajid Khan tried to "forcibly kiss" her when she was trying to leave the room.
Besides Sajid Khan, other prominent Bollywood personalities such as Alok Nath, Subhash Ghai, Vikas Bahl and Kailash Kher have also been outed as alleged sexual predators in #MeToo accounts.
The #MeToo movement gained momentum in Bollywood after actress Tanushree Dutta revived a decade-old case of sexual harassment against Nana Patekar. Tanushree Dutta accused actor Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her ten years ago, while she was shooting for a special song for the 2008 film Horn 'Ok' Pleassss.